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Update on the upcoming storm

You know, I always used to resent when weather forecasters seemed to be issuing their prognostications real-time by sticking their heads out the window every now and then.  Now I understand a lot more of where their hesitations come from.  Look at this quote from NWS Wakefield’s forecast discussion this morning:

CHALLENGING FORECAST SUNDAY AND SUNDAY NIGHT AS

MODELS ARE A BIT FURTHER SOUTH WITH THE TRACK OF THE LOW.”

Mind you, this was issued 24 hours before the precipitation was supposed to begin around here.  When the models jump around as much as they have been with each succeeding solution for this storm it’s no wonder the older forecasters seem to all be balding.

Per last night’s model runs the track of this storm has now been shifted southward so that it will emerge into the Atlantic off the South Carolina coast.  This is enough of a shift to move the heaviest snow totals southward enough that Richmond will likely see more snow than we will.  How about the ‘Burg?  Based on the following graphic from NWS Sterling and the updated model runs I’m revising my estimate from yesterday (4-6″) down to 1-3 inches for the city and its immediate vicinity.

Note that the amounts increase toward the southwest.  It would appear that the Roanoke area will now be in the bullseye of this system.

I still think precipitation will start around here as rain mid-morning tomorrow and then gradually change over to all snow by late afternoon.  Given the warmth of the ground the grassy surfaces and vehicles will see the first accumulations and then as temperatures drop Sunday evening I would expect the roads to become slushy.  A lot of the falling snow will melt at first, otherwise our total snow depth would be much more than 1-3″.

Hmmmm….maybe I won’t have to find my shovel now.

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